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I was raised on a small farm in the middle of Illinois, and I had a very similar concern when I started thinking about my college education and the job market after I graduated. Since an early age, I had taken an interest in technology, and I made that a focus of my daily life, learning what I could and practicing my computer science skills day by day. When I was in my teens, I started a small side business fixing and updating computers for my parents' friends. It taught me valuable lessons in customer service, and that I had a specialized skill that was in high demand.
Later, when I went to college in one of the largest cities in the state, it was a culture shock. The number of classmates I had went from 62 to 2,500! But, I quickly noticed that my background gave me an advantage. My farmer's work ethic and helpful attitude towards the people around me set me apart from other people. My values, experiences, and people skills that I built growing up in a small town helped me get through 4 years of school and helped me land my first job out of college (interestingly, in a career area I had NEVER studied or had any classes in). Those same skills helped me achieve more in my career today than I would have ever imagined before.
I'm telling you all of this to make a couple of points:
1. The things you think may prevent you from competing in the larger job market may actually be the things that make you successful and different from the rest of the applicants.
You being from a small town probably gave you valuable experience in understanding communities, political situations, and other issues that people from large cities may not have had.
2. Your ability to compete in the job market isn't based on where you're from; rather, it is based on what you know, your experiences, how you apply yourself towards reaching your goals, and how you approach people and situations.
As someone who conducts many interviews, I always look for a person's ability to engage with me and to communicate, their passion for learning and growth, their demonstrated problem solving ability, and the ability to learn and apply their experiences to their job or task. This is even MORE true with new college graduates because their experience is usually quite limited.
The important note for you is that *none* of those things are based on, or limited by, the place where you're from.
I have not found this to be entirely true; companies seek diversity and that includes skill sets and backgrounds. Your skills, experience, personality, and education hold more weight in the process than the city you are from. It's important to build a network in your chosen field so reach out to people and continue to develop your skill set and expand your professional experience.
First off, if a company EVER looks down on you solely based upon where you are from, you are better off without them. Let them keep their lame job!
Please hear me when I say that you being from a small town makes you all the more special. You are bringing a different set of values, thoughts, and knowledge to the table here. Do you know what that means? Diversity! Something that the majority of modern companies love. Use your skills, knowledge, education, and personality to your advantage! Let it shine!
I ask of you today... do not allow fear to set barriers or limitations on what you are capable of achieving. Every human being on this planet has something unique to offer. You are no different.
Show up to job interviews (and life in general) with confidence and gusto! Watch how much your life will change for the better when you gain a fresh perspective on your complete awesomeness.
From experience, I can promise you that employers are not worrying about where you are from. I think you just have to realize that employers are interviewing you as much as you are inverviewing the employer. Each person is different for a reason. If that company does hire you, you were born to do that job.
There is nothing wrong being from a small town. If you have good accomplishments then be proud of your humble beginning.
Your past does not define you. It's your ambition that will lead you to a life that you had envisioned.
I have interviewed many applicants in my career, not once being from a small town was a deciding factor.
On your interview day, make sure to wear a dark suit and clean white shirt. Your refined appearance will give you a great boost to your self esteem. Good luck!
Many people from the small towns are under the stress during their first steps at a job-seeking process. But in fact, the employers are focused on the skills and motivation of the candidates. "Where you are from" is not a criterion for the recruiting selecting at any company. Concentrate yourself at the things that you know, can and wish! Because at interview a hiring specialist will:
1. check your professional knowledge and skills,
2. ask you about the goals you have set,
3. match your personal values with the company culture.
So the decision to provide a job-offer to a certain candidate depends on the criteria which can demonstrate candidates both from a huge megalopolis and a small village.